The Knights Templar of the Middle East: The Hidden History of the Islamic Origins of Freemasonry

Prince Michael of Albany and Princess Angelique Monét in Palais 2


“The Gnostic movement spread far and wide. In Africa, the original Essene ministry had been led by Judge, the third son of Mary and Joseph, who had settled in Mauretaina (present day Morocco). In fact, his daughter Anna married into the Mauretanian royal family, which, in turn, descended from Queen Cleopatra VII and her fourth husband, Marc Anthony. (History tends to forget that Cleopatra was quire fruitful. She gave birth to Julius Casear’s son, Ptolemy Ceasareon, and gave Marc Anthony two sons, Alexander Helios and Ptolemy Philometer, and one daughter, Cleopatra Selene.) Cleopatra Selene married King Juba II of Mauretania (thus bringing a strong lineage from the Barcha family, an ancestry that can be traced as far back as the sister of Hannibal the Great.) It is from this union that both Janaani (John) Marcus bar Ptolemey (later to be known through a deliberate miss-translation as the apostle Bartholomew) and the later Idrisid Kings of Morocco are descended. From North Africa, it soon spread to the European continent.” (p. 11) 


Map By Girolamo Ruscelli Mauritania Nuova Tavola [North Africa and West Africa] Girolamo Ruscelli Place/Date: Venice / 1562

“The North African involvement into Spanish affairs should not surprise anyone. After all, North Africa, then called Mauretania, and Spain both had been provinces of the Roman Empire, and, as such, they had traded with one another for centuries. For a political party in Spain to call upon the neighboring Moors was, in fact, nothing new. North Africa had been conquered by Islam when the exarchate of Carthage, now in Tunisia, succumbed to the Umayadds in AD 698. This meant that the Byzantine Empire had lost a rather big chunk of its western territory. While newly conquered on behalf of Islam, the Arabian influx of people was not excessive, so the flow of trade with Spain and other parts of Mediterranean cities had gone on as usual. Except for converting to Islam, little changed in the life of the native Berbers. When the call came from Spain, the Moors were quick to oblige and sent crack troops under the leadership of Tariq Ibn Ziad, then governor of Tangier.” (p. 12). 


Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shutterstock (224607j)


“While the Christian Church had rejected, over the centuries, the Hellenistic views and treatises of great master philosophers (such as Plato, Euclid, Ovid, Horace, and Aristotle), the scriptoria of Baghdad and Marrakesh in Morocco were busy translating them into Arabic in the tenth and eleventh centuries AD. These works were later translated, in Cordoba, into Latin and still later vernacular languages of western Europe, and would form the basis of the Renaissance period. The same applied to the works of Ptolemic geography, works of Sanskrit astrology, and to medical works from Hippocrates and Galen, all of which were first heartily embraced by both the Umayyad and the Abbaside dynasties. Arabic translations of these literary works were made from books originally written in both Syrian and Greek. What these Islamic scholars also did was check all the data over the years and either corrected them when needed and improved on them all of the time.” (p. 46-47)



“But Islamic Spain did much more than reintroduce the concept of wisdom. It introduced to the rest of Europe an age of science and philosphy uninhibited by the faith. This was the era of true freedom of artistic expression, and, for three centuries, Cordoba was a place where linguist and intellectuals could meet and talk without constraints, where metaphysics, pure arithmetic, optics (later borrowed by Leonardo da Vinci), meteorology, medicine, music, astronomy, astrology, alchemy, grammar, poetry and architecture, even fashion, was encouraged and practiced. The use of the system numerals called, in the West, “Arabic” and the adoption of the Indian concept of zero enabled the Muslims to make sophisticated calculations that were impossible for those Europeans using cumbersome Roman numerals.” (p. 46-47)



Source: The Knights Templar of the Middle East: The Hidden History of the Islamic By Hrh Prince Michael of Albany, Michael James Alexander Stewart, Walid Amine Salhab

Muslims in America: Examining the Facts by Dr. Craig Considine

“The Facts: Unbeknownst to many Americans today, the United States has never existed without the presence of Muslims. Several studies elaborate on how the history of Muslims in America was immeasurably augmented by the transatlantic slave trade. As many as 15 million West Africans were enslaved by Europeans beginning in the 16th century (Diouf, 1998). Among those West Africans, approximately 10 to 20 percent were Muslim (Austin, 1997). Other scholars have suggested that upward of 30 percent of all enslaved Africans were Muslims (Ahmed, 2003).”

“The Muslims who were enslaved and brought to the Americas are thought to have been mostly well learned and literate. Consistent with the basic teachings of Islam, education was paramount to the West African civilizations. Timbuktu, in modern-day Mali, was one of the great centers of learning in the world, with libraries having up to 700 volumes and numerous schools ( well over 150 during the 16th century) ( Dirks, 2006).”

“Most of the Muslim slaves from West Africa were literate in at least Arabic, and it has been estimated that the percentage of literacy in Arabic among African slaves was actually higher than the percentage of literacy in English among their Christian owners (Dirks, 2006).”

“Al Haj Omar Ibn Said, a notable American Muslim slave with family roots in West Africa, is said to have been born and educated in the modern country of Senegal, where he served as an Islamic scholar of the Fula people. He is known for 14 documents that he wrote in Arabic, including an autobiography that detailed his life as a trader, soldier, and faithful Muslim. Said wrote that he performed the hajj, an Arabic word referring to the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, required by all Muslims (Considine, 2017: 185 ), and studied the Qur’an for 25 years before being sold into slavery in 1807 (The Pluralism Project, n.d. ).”

“Said’s handwritten works are now part of the North Carolina Collection in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Today, in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the Omar Ibn Said mosque on Southern Avenue stands as a testament to his legacy. A nearby historical marker notes that Said was a slave, scholar, and African-born author who penned in autobiography in Arabic. Other details of his life on the marker show that he lived in Blady County and worshipped with local Presbyterians. Muslims from the territories of North Africa and the Ottoman Empire are considered to be the second group of Muslims to arrive on U.S. soil.”

“One European Christian, the English sea captain and privateer Sir Francis Drake, commanded 25 to 30 English ships, whose shipmen liberated approximately 500 prisoners at Saint Augustine in Florida between 1585 and 1586. Dirks ( 2006) notes that about 300 or more of these liberated slaves were North African and Turkish galley slaves. North African and Ottoman captives from the Mediterranean region, usually called Moors and Turks, respectively, were needed to perform menial duties for their Spanish overlords in places such a5 Saint Augustine. Further evidence of Muslim galley slaves in the Americas is documented by the Smithsonian, which estimated that many of the Colombian city of Cartagena’s slave population were Muslims.”

In 1586, Drake besieged and captured the town, instructing his men to treat Frenchmen, Turks, and black Africans with respect (Lawler, 201 7). Edward D. Neill, an historian of early American history, wrote in his book The Virginia Carolorum that several shipments of Turkish and Armenian indentured servants, both men and women, were present in the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia, in the early 17th century, meaning that the slaves Drake captured were likely of Turkish and Armenian descent (Neill, 1886).”

“These hypotheses are confirmed in recordings by The Virginia Carolorum, which note that several of the Turks in Jam es town included the names “Mehmet the Turk,” “Ahmad the Turk,” “Joseph the Armenian,” and “Sayyan Turk” (Neill, 1886). A 1652 colonial document also refers to a “Turk” in Virginia, who wrote in the Turkish language. In the same year, Governor William Boyd of Virginia referred to a Turkish merchant in a letter (Dirks, 2006).”

“An obscure group known as the Melungeons also had a presence in precolonial and colonial America. Of mixed racial background, the Melungeons settled in the Appalachian region as early as the 17th century (Dirks, 2006). According to Wayne Winkler (2004), the Melungeons are a hybrid group with African, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean ancestry.”

“A DNA study published in the Journal of Genetic Genealogy in 2012 found that Melungeon families are the offspring of sub-Saharan African men and white women of northern or central European origin. Further details about the ancestry of the Melungeons are provided by Kathy Lyday, a researcher based at Elon University. Lyday claims that a Spanish influence is likely, given that the Southwest and the mountains were explored and settled by Spaniards as far back as Hernando de Soto, a conquistador who marched through the region in 1540 (Neal, 2015 ). These Spaniards likely brought African Muslim slaves with them, and they probably intermarried with Natives.”

Source: Muslims in America: Examining the Facts

North Africa: A History from Antiquity to the Present



“Livy contemplated Polybius’s generous assessment as he described Hannibal’s exceptional transcultural consciousness, which the Carthaginian exploited: Hannibals’s army was composed of so many men who had nothing in common in terms of language, culture, law, weaponry, dress, physical appearance, and their reasons for fighting and he varied his exhortations accordingly….The Gauls could be aroused by their own particular and instinctive hatred for the Romans.”

“The Ligurians, who had been brought down from their rugged mountain homes, were inspired hopes of victory by the prospect of the rich plains of Italy. The Moors and Numidians Hannibal frightened by telling them how brutal Masinissa’s rule would be. He worked on their various races by inspiring different hopes and different fears. (Livy 2006, 602)”

“Although Polybius and Livy admired Hannibal’s transcultralism, Carthaginians characteristically evinced these sensitivities for centuries given their commercialism and their need to enlist mercenaries. They realized that Carthage’s survival depended on positive and patient interaction with diverse societies. Carthaginian transculturalism was not casual but crucial and compulsory.”

“Carthage remained independent, but hardly a threat to Rome. Instead, Numidia loomed as Carthage’s greatest menace, whose dynamic King Masinissa aspired to unite the Maghrib. The growth of Numidian power, coupled with the pathological fear of a potentially resurgent Carthage, led to another Roman expedition against its archival.”

“Aided by their Numidian allies, the belligerent Romans, commanded by the adopted grandson of Scipio, Scipio Aemilianus, finally breached Carthage’s walls after a determined and desperate defense. The Romans enslaved the survivors and destroyed the city, reputedly plowing its debris underground and then symbolically salting the land to prevent its regeneration. Establishing a new province, Africa Proconsularis, Romans settled permanently in North Africa.”

“Significant Berber kingdoms exercised considerable power and influence by the time the Romans defeated Carthage, notably Numidia. In addition, Mauretania (the country of the Mauri) bordered Numidia on the west and included Morocco. Although the Romans had allied with Berbers, specifically the Massyli, against Carthage, relations between them declined and ultimately led to the Jugurthine War. In the first century BCE, rivalries among Roman commanders contesting for power embroiled North Africa, ending the Berber Kingdoms and also Hellenistic Egypt. For the first time, an imperial state, the Roman Empire, ruled North Africa’s Mediterranean littoral and, in varying degrees, its hinterland from Egypt to the Atlantic.”

“Ibn Odhari refers to al-Kahina as a Malika or a queen. The resistance of Kusayla and al-Kahina remains important regarding contemporary Berber-Arab cultural controversy, such as the use of the Berber language, Tamazight. See also El-Aroui 1990.”

“Phillip Hitti credited the Arabs’ Semitic (refers to language, not ethnicity) kinship with the Phoenicians in expediting their relations with the Berbers who still spoke Punic in some regions: “This explains the seemingly inexplicable miracle of Islam in Arabicizing the language and Islamizing the religion of these [Berbers] and using them as fresh relays in the race toward further conquest” (Hitti 1970, 214). On the other hand, a significant number of bishoprics remained in North Africa three hundred years after the conquest (ibid.,361). Regarding Arabization, see also the section on the Bantu Hilal in this chapter. Musa’s trust in Tariq illustrated an exceptional sensibility between Arab and Berber, which obviously expedited the campaigns in the far Maghrib and Iberia.”

“The extraordinary expansion of the Umayyads also led to problems in North Africa. Animosity intensified between Berbers and Arabs. Berber, especially those who contributed to Arab success in al-Andalus and elsewhere, demanded the application of Muslim equality. Despite legal prohibitions, Arab administrators imposed taxes and even enslaved Berbers, fellow Muslims, and sent them to the East. The renowned Abbasid historian al-Tabari recounted how Berbers questioned the caliph and Umayyad authority: “They make us give them the most beatiful of our daugthers, and we say, ‘We have not found this in the Book or in the Sunna [the customs of the Prophet Muhamad (see below)]. We are Muslims and we wish to know: is this with the approval of the Commander of the Faithful or not?” (Lewis 1974,2:57-58). The Berbers subsequently revolted and in 741, led by a self-proclaimed “caliph” named Maysara, defeated an Arab force sent from Qayrawan. Although Maysar was eventually killed, the Berber revolt spread into Algeria and al-Andalus.”

Source: North Africa: A History from Antiquity to the Present By Phillip C. Naylor

Islam in the African-American Experience

“Mervyn Hiskett describes the Islamic lands of West Africa as the area commonly referred to as “the west and central Sudan”…extending from the desert scrub in the “north” to the southern edge of savanna in the south. From west to east it extends across this scrub and savanna belt, from the Atlantic coast to the eastern shore of Lake Chad.”

“Arab and Berber Muslims from Egypt and North Africa first established contact with this area in the eighth century through the caravan trade across the Sahara, which was inhabited by Berber nomads and black town dwellers. The merchants initially involved in this trade were interested mostly in gold, ivory, and slaves, not in proselytizing.”

“By 990, however, the Arabic geographer al Muhallabi reported that the West African city of Gao had a mosque and a Muslim ruler. In the tenth century, the desert trading city of Tadmakatt was also an important source of Islamic ideas for West Africa. During the same period, the empire of Ghana, which was the center of the gold trade, already had a separate Muslim district and employed Muslims in governmental affairs, even though its ruler was a Soninke polytheist.”

“A-Bakri’s account of Ghana in the eleventh century indicates that the racial and cultural separatism characteristic of West African Islam was already evident in the capital city of this empire: The city of Ghana consists of two towns in a plain. One of these towns is inhabited by Muslims.”

“It is large with a dozen mosques in one of which they assemble for the Friday prayer. There are salaried imams and muezzins, as well as jurist and scholars… In the eleventh century, Islam first became a major factor in West African history when the orthodox “Muslim militants”-the Almoravids, led by Abu Bakr, organized the Sanhaja Berbers in a holy war against the non-Muslims in western Sudan.”

“The motivation for this jihad was economic as well as religious, for the Almoravids wanted to control the northern end of the desert caravan routes. Eventually, they succeeded in making Islam the official religion of the empire of Ghana and Islamicized some of the black kingdoms and towns in Sudan. Although historians dispute whether the Almoravids came to power in Ghana by military force or peaceful means, it is certain that they quickly lost their military and political advantages over the Soninke people and eventually became wandering scholars and preachers of Islam in Sudan.”

“Indeed, black Muslims in West Africa were not seriously affected by the military power of the Muslims world again until the Moroccan invasion of Songhay in the sixteenth century. The Arab and Berber advance in West African societies often occurred in subtle stages over a long period of time.”

“First, Muslims established contact with Sudan as visiting merchants and craftspeople to obtain slaves and precious minerals. Eventually, some of these merchants would settle in a permanent trading outpost in West African towns and villas as African leaders began to  perceive the advantages of economic ties with North Africa and the Middle East. These immigrant merchants and craftspeople were the first representatives of Islam in sub-Saharan Africa.”

“Although the impression of these different Muslims influenced the West African black ruling elite and merchants to convert to Islam, they had little impact on the traditional religous praxis of West African peoples in rural areas before modernity. The racial seperatism of West African Islam resulted from the signfiication of black Muslim identiies by rich and poowerful black rulers who attempted to reconcile their new religion with African traditional religous cultural praxis.

“Thus, as we shall see, North African and Middle Eastern Muslims and blacks were deliberarely segregated from each other in seperate residential areas in West African cities and towns, to ensure that Islam would be used to the economic, political and cultural advantage of black ruling elites. In the Muslim state of Takur (inhabited by the Tukolor people), the Jolof empire of the Wolof, the Senegambian villages and towns established by Mande traders, Mali, Songhay, the issues of signification and seperatism were played out in the context of West African Islam.”

“In these locations West African Muslims attempted to defined their identities both as Muslims and as ethnic people in light of the competition between their allegienace to the religions and cultures of their ethnic groups and the beliefs and practices of orthodox Islam from North Africa and the Middle East.”

Forty years later, Mansa Musa’s fame had spread to Europe as map-makers put Mali on the Catalan map of West Africa and referred to its ruler as “Lord of the Negroes of Guinea.” They described his country’s gold as “so abundant…that he is the richest and most noble king in all the land. Mansa Musa had inherited the mantale of leadership from a long line of black Muslim kings from the Kieta clan of the Mandinka cheifdoms. This line included Sundita (c.1230-1255), a Mandinka Muslim convert who had bult the vast empire of Mali on the ruins of Ghana, thus unifiying the Mandinka people; Mans Uli, the son of Sundiata, wo was the first in his Askiya Benkan was abruptly replaced by Askiya Ismail in 1537.”

“Political stability returned to Songhay from 1539 to 1591 under the ruler of Askiya Iskaq I and Askiya Daud. Some of the political tensions in sixteenth-century Songhay resulted from different rulers efforts to reconcile Islam, the relgion of the urban ruling elite, with the African cultural particularism of the traditional religions which were also practiced by the rulers and the peasants.”

“This tension between orthodox Islam and African cultural particularism was at the heart of what made West African Islam a vibrant and distincitive religous tradition in the world of Islam. Although West African Muslims had signifiedi themselves as the people they wanted to be through their embrace of Islam and seperarated themselves from the judgments of non-black Muslims from North Africa, they could not united politiclaly and militarily to sustain their powerful Isslamic empires in the modern era. On the even of modernity, Islam in Wet Africa was destined for radical changes, although its themes of radical cultural particularism, singification, and jihad were destined to live on as a paradigm endemic to global Islam, and would later be utilized by black Muslims in America.” 

“In 1591, the Songhay empire fell when it supposed ally, Morocco, invaded the country to seize its salt mines. Although Songhay had carefull developed diplomatic and cultural ties with North Africa, the Moroccan sultan wanted complete control over the salt mines, gold, and slaves of the Sudan, which legally belonged, in part, to Songhay. This was a watershed event in West African history for several reasons.”

“First, it signaled the end of the mighty economic and political power of the empires that had sustained West African Islam.”

“Second, Timbuktu, the great West African city, declined as black Muslim intellectual center.”

“Third, the focus of West African Islam changed radically as Islam centered a period of decline which lasted until the nineteenth century.”

“Fourth, the fall of Songhay signaled the beginning of modernity, during which cataclysmic changes in the instittion of slavery wre destined to change the fortunes of African peoples in the world. By the beginnnig of the sixteenth century, it became clear to informed observers that Arab Muslims had a seperate and radical agenda for black Muslims in West Africa.”

“They were enslaving them in record numbers under the banner of jihad and taking control of the rich mineral resourcs of their lands. This was clearly against the laws of Islam. The issue of the enslavement of West African Muslims by their Arab co-religionist had still not been resolved in 1614 when Ahmad Baba, a Muslim scholar from Timbuktu, wrote a legal interpreation of the issue: Whoever is captured in a condition of non belief, it is legal to own him, whosoever he maby be, but not he was converted to Islam voluntarily from the start, to any nation he belongs, whether it is Bornu, Kano, Songhai, Katsinsa, Gobir, Mali and some of Zakzak. These are free Muslims, whose enslavement is not allowed in nay way.” 


Source: Islam in the African-American Experience By Richard Brent Turner

Culture and Customs of Ghana


“The religous identity of Muslims is more easily ascertained by their outward appearance and actions than that of Christians. Their dress, suh as agbada robes, represents part of the traditional dress of northerners, but is also similiar to the dress of other Muslims throughout West Africa. The architecture of northern Ghana, especially that of some mosques, is derived from the Islamic architecture of Western Sudan.”

“The Hausa from Nigeria, a predominalty Islamic group, have had an impact of the development of northern Ghanaian society. Hausa and Muslims identity are closely linked in the minds of many Ghanians. Many Muslim customs and actions are associated with the Hausa. The Hausa lnaguage spread throughout the West African region during the trans-Saharan trade and is still commonly used in northern Ghanaian Islamic schools. Many non-Muslim Ghanaians refer to northerners, regardless of ethnicity or religion, using the generic term, “Hausa”.

“Muslims have created national groups to represent their interest. Like the umbrella Christian organizations, the Muslim Representative Council of Ghana manages religious, social, and economic conflicts that affect their religious brethren. Together with the Chrisitan groups, they have worked to maintain a harmonious relationship between followers of the two religions. When Islam was first introduced into northern Ghana, it brought with it a system of writing, a new language, and institutions of formal education. At least a basic comprehension of Arabic, the language of the Qur’an, is still required of Muslims everywhere. Islamic education in northern Ghana, however, has received little assistance from the national government, not enough attention from Muslim societies.”

“Many young Muslims in Ghana today have to look elsewhere to receive an Islamic education, especially at the advanced levels. Growing contacts with the rest of the Islamic world have opened up new opportunities for young Ghanaians. Increasing numbers of students have been receiving full scholarships to go to Islamic countries in North Africa or the Middle East to attain their university education.”

Source: Culture and Customs of Ghana